Friday Random Ten

Because it’s one of our few gestures toward community, even as we’re plotting and scheming to rip off everyone’s logos and send mutant cats after them. (Crappy Kitty Nasty Story Time with No!bizness? Actually I think Norb is mad at us lately. Or actually, not at Brad or Seb. Because of the…)

1) ‘Contact the Fact’ — The Sound
This brings back intaglio-print memories of WNYU, a college station in New York whose New Afternoon Show played the pick-hits from the British music weeklies, debuting Aztec Camera and Smiths singles, hyping the Men They Couldn’t Hang one week, Prefab Sprout the next. At the time, we were all angry at WNYU for casting a searchlight at the UK while slipping in local hardcore cuts only when they came from DJ Tim Sommer’s approved pile. (Tim Sommer, of WNYU’s “Noise, the Show” later became a program director at MTV — which is a fact that one could extrapolate from.) But the Sound was in fact a great band. Sparse, spacious (yet claustrophobic) guitar dirge, of the leathers-and-gothic-hair variety. Nearly forgotten now, alas. I had to track this down over a span of weeks. The whole album is great, and the band’s entire canon ranges from really-good to stupendous. Singer killed himself a couple years ago. I think there are reissues out now.

2) ‘Johnny Too Bad’ – The Slickers
’60s and ’70s ska yielded up these incredible jukebox songs — Motown-worthy but with one-drop beats and chikka guitars. Young guys singing who have no showbiz veneer, but have soul. You want to hang out with these guys.

3) ‘Wait’ – Articles of Faith
If you want to hear an ’80s hardcore single that naively nudges into modern-classical territory, this is your pick. Legato like crazy, really strong vertical composition, and then it snaps into thrash. Not that fake metal-thrash or the young-kid thrash that you hear a lot these days (kids cheating with double-bass drum pedals and all that), but real thrash. This song has classical structure. How is that? I had an email friendship with Vic Bondi, the band’s main guy, a few years ago. I want to talk to him again. How, Vic?

4) ‘White Power’ – Skrewdriver
That’s why they call it the Random Ten. Frustratingly, this is a good, well-performed and well-recorded song with a hook. All the more reason to hate them.

5) ‘Self Destruct’ – UK Subs
This is more like it. I’d give a bid for the UK Subs’ Shake Up The City EP as a perfect record. It’s not worldbeating, but boy is it all there, focused, and all of a pace. Nicky Garratt, the guitarist, pushes this record aside in favor of the…(god, now I have to go look; the brain is failing…) ‘Countdown’/’Plan of Action’ single. The guitars are indeed thicker and crunchier on that one, but the songs are better here.

My copy of Shake Up The City has a weird skip on ‘War of the Roses.’ The chorus of the song goes, “Left-right, left-right, left-right, left-right, left-right, left-right — Cen-ter! Red and white; red and white: War of the ro-ses…” The skip makes a perfect loop of “left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right…” Forever, ever-ever-ever! It’s yikesey!

6) ‘Hungry So Angry’ – Medium Medium
I think this is what a New Wave jam band would sound like. Hmm.
I was down in DC for a concert at Dupont Circle once, and some jam band actually covered this. That was actually the best day of my life, as it happens, because when my band went on, we played the opening chords to Government Issues’s ‘Sheer Terror,’ and John Stabb vaulted onstage and started singing it. If that means nothing to anyone, then my name is Ike Witt, because I kwitt.

7) A three-fer by The Muse.
Likem lots.

7.5) ‘Pressure Drop’ – Toots and the Maytals
Norb got this one too. Everyone knows it, I think. But see re: The Slickers (above).

8) ‘Which Will’ – Nick Drake
Once bought an acoustic and tuned it in this special off-tuning just to learn this song. Grew and filed the nails on my right hand to be able to pick the strings right.

9) ‘Mississippi Queen’ – Mountain
Hm. Actually not bad, right? Raw and guitar-heavy. Mr. Ippi Queen would be proud.

10) ‘See See Rider’ – Roy Buchanan
I could launch a 3000-word arm-waving disquisition on Buchanan and the 1950s Telecaster (and its magnificent tonal there-ness), but today I shall not disquisiss. God, though: What a great guitar! What a great guitar player! Buchanan was haunting the DC club circuit at this point, and a friend of mine remembers him from it. If Only. If only one could see…


Comments: 26


I know you all are far more hip, cool and with-it than I am, and I’m probably not telling anybody anything that all the cool kids don’t already know — but what the hell, I’m in my FORTIES f’r chrissakes — but if you haven’t heard The World/Inferno Friendship Society’s “Brother of the Mayor of Bridgewater” or Goldie Lookin’ Chain’s “Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do,” then you haven’t been listening to my iPod.


Maybe there is a skrewdriver song that I’ve never heard of but I think the right title is “white rider”, and the song sucks.

It all sucks and it always did. Usually, you hear about what a great album All-Skrewed up was instead of something from their pure racist propaganda period. I think All-Skrewed Up sucked MORE than the later stuff.


brother of the mayor of bridgewater?


Skrewdirver? I’m disturbed for the rest of the day.


Off Topic:

You know I love you guys almost as much as I love myself, but your new blog style is heinous. I actually find myself missing the brief ‘Black on Black’ period.

Is it meant to be some sort of filter to eliminate all but the true believers?

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.




On Topic:

‘Nantucket Sleighride’-Moutain.


if you haven’t heard The World/Inferno Friendship Society’s “Brother of the Mayor of Bridgewater”

Dude, I knew Pete back when he used to live in Bridgewater. Are you from NJ?


Gavin, no. Seriously, I literally just found this one song on my iPod. Back in March, the SXSW Festival put something like 750 songs on the Intarwebs for free download. I pulled them all down and have been listening to them occasionally in various iTunes/iPod shuffle modes, and that song came up the other day. I was impressed, went looking for info about them, found the website. Turns out their stuff is on iTMS, so I may go shopping one of these days.


Pete used to be in a band called Sticks and Stones. There’s a story about a night the band went to the Felix #9 Diner (in Bridgewater) and found Dave Vanian of the Damned sitting there eating a hamburger… Vanian’s girlfriend’s parents apparently lived in the area — he used to turn up in funny places there, where you least expected to find a rock star.

But the punch line is Pete freaking out and yelling, “All my life, all I’ve ever wanted was to be the Dave Vanian of central New Jersey! And now this guy is MUSCLING IN!!!”


I, happily, have just stumbled across a compilation of 999 stuff on ye olde iTunes. There was an old album of theirs that I had on vinyl that I always wanted on CD (no dice) that I had pretty much despaired of ever seeing stuff from ever again. But this thing, “The Albion Punk Years,” has about 4-5 tunes from the old album-sweet! Best of all, it has the threatening cover they did of that old ’50s tune, L’il Red Riding Hood (iTunes link)! Man, does that make me happy.


I’m not clear whether the objection to Skrewdriver ought to be that they are white power propagandists or that their music is formulaic. A much more interesting band from that sector of the public ill is Death In June. DiJ have also given rise to interesting and indeed impassioned criticism from the left wing sub-culturati, as here:
Death In June Not Mysterious”


Oh my God. Amanda must be pissed because you obscuritans have dropped the Scarlet U on her- Unhip! Nothing can top the personal stories of the old scene. One more reason that my jealous obsession with Gavin burns at my sole.


I wonder after I do the deed if the tell tale heart will have a Two Tone beat? Gav under the floor boards and Coldplay rocking the house at the Motorhead reunion show from Wembley. Good times.


One more reason that my jealous obsession with Gavin burns at my sole.

You sure that’s not athelete’s foot?


Oh, how I love Articles of Faith . . .


Actually I think the Capt. meant his fish.


Gavin, I definitely agree about the 50s Tele. I’ve got a more recent version; they still sound sweet.

Now, if I could just move out of the 2 chord neighborhood…

BTW, here’s my FRT:

No Kitties.


Hey, I remember The Men They Couldn’t Hang. I see your “The Men They Couldn’t Hang” and I’ll raise you one “An Emotional Fish.”


I listen to The Men They Couldn’t Hang’s Silvertown all the time*. But I’ll see that and raise you The Levellers.

In terms of personal brushes with music greatness**, the closest I can come is the time I met Mick Jones of Foreigner in a hotel bar in Boston and he hit on the girl I was with. Seriously, the guy told her what hotel he was staying at and invited her to call him later. In my mind, I called him out then and there and strangled him with his own E-string. In reality, things didn’t get quite that confrontational. I think he cadged a drink off us and we went on our way, and as far as I know, she didn’t call him in his hotel room.

*For very small values of all the time, as I hardly ever listen to music these days.

** Actual greatness not guaranteed.


I don’t get #7


la alalalalalalalalalalalal

2:43 in tha am nobody home I’m running naked through the internets



Sadly Alert : Sadly spotted at Brainwashed :

“I have largely looked with unenthused disgust at the so-called “folktronica” sound that has played out in recent years. Growing up with my parents’ Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Woody Guthrie records provided me with an appreciation for real masters of the craft, and, comparatively, some moody dipshit’s grandiose laptop meets guitar experiments hardly garners my respect. The only possible thing worse than the typical album in this half-assed subgenre would have to be one that also incorporates that desperately pretty late nineties IDM sound. Sadly, that’s just where Gonglot fits in…”



Roy Buchanan is playing in Charlotte soon (or maybe even this past weekend. Who knows? I can’t afford to go to the Visulite anymore, and anyway, they usually just have crappy local hippie bands.)


I like this photo


I rotate a couple of Roy’s live numbers onto my player. These twenty minute kinetic adventures occasionally cause me to blurt obscenities of wonder and respect where everyone can hear. And yeah, tone to perhaps (big perhaps) rival the great Les Pauls.


What the FUCK are you doing with a Skrewdriver song on your list?


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